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Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Volume 16 by Rumiko Takahashi

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Ranma 1/2 Volume 16 is a manga with the story and art by Rumiko Takahashi, and it was published in North America by Viz Media. This review is for the second printing of this volume, which was released in 2005. The Ranma 1/2 manga volumes are “flipped,” which means that they read like American books instead of traditional Japanese manga. Ranma 1/2 is rated “T+” for older teens, due to some panels featuring female nudity.

The first story in Volume 16 sees Ranma, Genma, and the Tendo family going to a festival, and the Tendos going to see an exhibit on cursed scrolls. During the presentation, Ranma chases Genma into the exhibit, because Genma stole his octopus balls. In the process, they accidentally release the seals from the scrolls. Two monsters and a crudely drawn panda escape from the scrolls. The female panda doesn’t want to return to her scroll until she goes on a date with a nice boy. Ranma gets stuck with this duty.

This is a story that actually appeared in the Ranma 1/2 anime series. When I saw the story in the anime, I assumed it was a filler story created for the anime. So imagine my surprise to see that it actually originated from the manga. This wasn’t one of my favorite stories when I saw it in the anime adaptation, and the manga telling doesn’t really improve it much.

The rest of the manga focuses on a storyline where the cast members who have been affected by the cursed springs of Jusenkyo are being targeted by an unknown assailant after the guestbook at the Jusenkyo hot springs are stolen. It turns out it’s a young man looking for a particular person to get revenge for something that the person has done to the young man. The person he’s looking for has a connection with many of the characters in the series.

This is another story that was adapted for the Ranma 1/2 anime series. The telling of the story between the two mediums is pretty similar; I really don’t notice any differences that stick out between the two. I have to say that as a reader, I never could truly feel sorry for the young man due to his attitude and actions, but I could understand why he sought revenge against the character he’s looking for.

If you’re a fan of Ranma 1/2, then you’ll probably enjoy Volume 16, even with the inclusion of the “scribble panda” story.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.